Developed and proposed by parents across California with Innovate Public Schools
To achieve high-quality education for all students, parents must have a seat at the table. As parents, we have always been co-educators with teachers, but online learning in the COVID era has made it clear that this is a vital partnership. It’s critical for school districts and charter school networks to support and nurture the relationship between parents and teachers.
You can help ensure that parents, students and teachers get the support they need for successful distance learning by taking this action. Fill out and submit the form to tell Governor Newsom and CA State Legislators to meet parents’ needs!
These are the essentials parents demand in order to jointly achieve better and more equitable outcomes for students:
1. A Plan to Address Learning Loss
Parents need every school district and charter network to approve a public distance learning plan to address learning loss due to school closures. These plans must include targeted student outcomes, clarify how schools will gather information about where students are given learning loss, and commit to supporting and providing resources to parents as co-educators. Parents need districts to provide regular updates about their progress on implementing these plans to their board members and the public.
2. Internet Access and Devices
Parents need every student to have a computer/tablet for regular use (one per student) and have access to high-quality internet in their homes, with priority for low-income students. Parents and students need training on how to use computers/tablets, the internet, and online learning resources to support distance learning.
3. Professional Development and Resources for Teachers on Remote Teaching
Parents need teachers to receive consistent, high-quality professional development to meet the new challenges presented by distance learning. Parents also need teachers to have the resources and professional support needed to teach remotely.
4. Individualized Support for Students
Parents know students need regular communication with their schools. Districts need to mandate a consistent communication standard across all schools and expect phone contact to be made with every student individually by a staff person at least once per week as a wellness check. Teachers should also hold scheduled “office hours” multiple times per week at times that are convenient for the students in their class(es).
5. Regular Communication and Collaboration with Parents
Parents need schools to communicate with them by phone or video at least once per week to discuss both academics and social-emotional wellness. Parents need updates about school-wide learning plans, students expectations, instruction, and how families can access additional resources outside of classroom instruction.
6. A Guaranteed Minimum of Instructional Minutes
In order to ensure that students are engaged in learning, districts need to mandate that students have direct, live interaction with teachers for at least two hours every day during distance learning for things like small group instruction, feedback on work, answering questions, connecting, and community building. California students can’t go another school year without that.
7. Connection to the School Community
Parents need a space for their students to continue being part of a learning community through live, virtual “class-type meetings” multiple times per week.
8. Customized Supports for Special Populations
Parents need districts and the State of California to articulate legally required school- and community-based resources for special populations, including students who are not at grade level, those with special needs, and English Learners. Parents need to know how schools are following legal requirements for the provision of IEP meetings, reclassification meetings, and individualized supports for students.
9. Social and Emotional and Mental Health Supports for Students
Parents need their students to have frequent and consistent access to high-quality social and emotional resources and mental health support, including access to credentialed social workers and counselors who can provide individualized support.
10. Public Access and Accountability for School Boards
Parents need school boards to continue holding their regularly scheduled board meetings virtually and also hold virtual Town Halls for parents at least twice per month, to allow parents to ask questions, share their perspectives, and engage in decision-making. Parents need school sites and district-level parent and community advisory committee meetings to meet virtually on a regular basis (e.g. DELAC, CACSE, SELPA meetings). All meetings must be ADA compliant and accessible to the public by video, with ease of public comment and interpretation available for languages other than English.